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Press Release

Alaska joins 23 states in upholding the Second Amendment

June 4, 2019

(Anchorage, AK) – Alaska along with 22 other states joined an amicus brief filed by Louisiana on May 14, 2019 urging the United States Supreme Court to strike down as unconstitutional New York City's ban on transporting licensed, locked, and unloaded handguns to a home or shooting range outside city limits.

According to Alaska's Attorney General Kevin G. Clarkson, it is important that the State weigh in on cases like this.

"Though this is a local ordinance that could be seen as not impacting Alaskans, that is short-sighted,” said Attorney General Kevin G. Clarkson. “The more we allow these types of bans around the nation, the more it restricts the rights of every American. The Governor and I both feel strongly that we need to defend Alaskans' right to bear arms from these types of unconstitutional bans—we don't want this type of ban to cascade like falling dominoes and infringe on Alaskans' rights.”

"You cannot pick and choose which portions of the constitution to uphold," said Governor Michael J. Dunleavy. "The Second Amendment is an integral and explicit part of the U.S. Constitution, and New York City's gun ban clearly violates Americans' constitutional rights."

In addition to urging the Court to strike the ban on Second Amendment grounds, the amicus brief asserts that the ban violates the Commerce Clause and the right to travel under the U.S. Constitution. The amicus brief states: "…when municipalities like New York City are allowed to criminalize traveling with a personal handgun safely stored inside a vehicle, they threaten the rights of all citizens to travel throughout the United States without being subject to arrest and prosecution."

The ban was upheld by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and plaintiffs in the case petitioned to the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the court of appeals. The other 22 states joining Louisiana and Alaska are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Kentucky (through the governor), Mississippi (through the governor), Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia. The case will be decided in next year's term.

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Department Media Contact: Senior Assistant Attorney General Cori Mills at (907) 465-2132 or cori.mills@alaska.gov.